FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 2, 2000
Ken Murphy (202) 565-3200 - USA Kathy Tordas, Office of the Press Attaché, US Embassy - Budapest 361 475 4658
Budapest - The Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and its Hungarian counterpart will work together to provide low-cost financing to U.S., Hungarian and Southern European businesses under the South-East Europe Reconstruction Credit Initiative signed today by both export credit agencies. The agreement specifically targets efforts to promote environmentally beneficial projects and financing for small and medium-sized businesses.
Board Member Dan Renberg signed the agreement on behalf of the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Hungary has shown a strong demand for U.S.-made information technology, consumer goods, telecommunications, medial equipment and healthcare technology. Dr. Frigyes Banki, chief executive officer, signed for Hungarian Export-Import Bank.
We think Hungary is a fantastic gateway for U.S. goods and services to markets in Central and Southern Europe, Renberg said. Hungarian business and U.S. manufacturers will both benefit from this agreement and our cooperative efforts.
Under the terms of the South-East Europe Reconstruction Credit Initiative, Ex-Im Bank and the Hungarian Export-Import Bank would work together to identify projects for joint support. Environmentally beneficial projects could quality for financing enhancements such as:
1. The maximum allowable OECD repayment terms;
2. The capitalization of interest during construction; and,
3. Local cost coverage equal to 15 percent of the U.S. contract price.
The U.S. is Hungary's fifth largest trade partner. Annually, more than $1 billion of U.S. exports are sold in Hungary. U.S. Ex-Im Bank supports the purchase of U.S.-made goods and services by all businesses with competitively financed loans, guarantees and insurance. Ex-Im Bank financing generally has an annual all-in-cost of less than 9 percent.
Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States. It is an independent federal agency that supports the sale of U.S. goods and services to foreign markets. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in U.S. exports.